Transforming Your Physique Whilst Staying True to Yourself and Increasing Happiness - It’s About Values!
Ask yourself what you value most in life, come up with a list of values in order of priority. In doing this you can give yourself a greater chance of success by understanding why inner conflicts may arise and the steps you may need to take to avoid them.
For 10 years or so I found it harder to stray from my diet than to stick to it! And not because of willpower! That’s not the case in this moment though - why? A change in values.
For years I placed very little value to meals out, having to be around people or nights out drinking. This meant I never felt I had to have “balance” between progress and deviation for social reasons as I never felt bad saying no. I wouldn’t struggle to say no, I was saying no to things that were of a much lower value to me than my training. It was easy. I didn’t ever fear a lack of social acceptance, in-fact those around me admired and respected me for the choice. There would be a temporary shift in those values, after a shoot where I would then value more those social engagements, a temporary shift which meant no feelings of guilt as for the months prior I’d stuck to my highest value and smashed the shoot. My values today have changed, now I’ll miss a training session or eat fewer meals in order to dedicate more time to coaching. I’ll have the odd meal out or a night out and never feel guilty about it, because I’m still sticking to what is now of a higher value to me. But having a meal or night out when I know I have plans to write or emails to answer, then I can feel guilt as I break a higher value for a lower one.
If you have a high value on social engagements, dinners with friends, nights out or anything else that will make sticking to your plan harder, you will have inner conflicts if you also value your physique progress. The higher value to you at that time will always win out, but because it may mean going against a 2nd or 3rd highest value it is easy to then be left with guilt or a lack of fulfilment. To avoid this, be clear at any time on what your highest values are if that’s become your self-improvement and physique development then maybe you can still give some fulfilment to those next values by going to social engagements and eating something different to anyone else. Or set clear rules, I value my progress but I also value my meals with the family and nana’s Italian cooking; so once a week I will allow myself to have something and take 90% of the possible physique results to do so. Here you are clear on your path so you will not feel guilty about that meal because it is planned. If you do feel guilt, that itself is a signal, what is the telling me, is my physique progress now of a higher value to me than it was previously? And that is what balance is, it is not what the “know it all” person says when they say “you have to have balance.” All they are alluding to there is their own balance, a balance right for them, not for you.
“But won’t they laugh at me for not drinking or for avoiding the meal someone has taken hours to prepare?”
- Not if you have previously made it clear that you can’t have that meal and why? If you are overly concerned with what others will think...well there is another value that causes inner conflict. Stick to the higher value, will you regret saying no and sticking to your highest values 6 months later when you have achieved your goals and they are asking for your advice?
But at the same time, if you do value what others think and social engagements more than your physique progress that’s fine! Just understand your physique progress will suffer as a result until there is a shift. But find your own balance where you are fulfilling all of your highest values and that is when you will see results you are happy with whilst living a life you are happy with!